Review: The Wyrmling Horde

Series: The Runelords: #7

I think that for the most part The Wyrmling Horde takes everything I mentioned in Worldbinder and does a bit more of that. There are some really fascinating worldbuilding ideas being explored here, although I miss the smaller scope of just the Endowments and possibly the wizards of the early books. The characters are cool–and I do actually find the inversions of several of them fascinating–but we’re also missing a few faces that I really wish we would see more of. Plotwise… nothing much actually seems to happen.

And now… the series will probably not be finished1. One more. We’ll have to see how it goes.

Overall, at this point, I’m going to finish the series, but I still stand by my previous standpoint that the original four Runelords book are absolute gems of the craft–and that you can probably finish after that or treat the rest as a separate series entirely. So it goes.

A few individual thoughts (potential minor spoilers):

  • The inversion of the Earth King / Lord Despair is a bit overdone, but I’m liking it. Adding Endowments of Pain as a torture device and that being the origin of one great evil in this universe was a nice touch.

  • A world that’s a ’truer’ reflection of our own is commonly done, but the deadly bees in particular were a neat detail. A powerful moment for this universe’s Raj Ahten (who is also an interesting, if overdone inversion).

  • There are two times that twinning minds with Endowments of Wit–and they still haven’t mentioned the Days. What happened to that?

  • Speaking of which, the sheer number of times that they said ’laughing at their own private joke’ in just a few minutes of audiobook was… quite a bit much.

  • The idea of merging all of the worlds seems insane. Billions of lives worth of memories… how do you do that?

  1. RIP David Farland/Dave Wolverton. This marks the third author I’ve been listening to while or soon after they died. (Clive Cussler and Terry Pratchett being the other two.) Starting to feel like a bit of a curse… but on the other hand, I read/listen to quite a lot so it’s going to happen. As an aside, I recently learned that the mentor that Sanderson mentions several times in different media was Wolverton:

    I remember distinctly one day after, where I mentioned I’d finished several novels already.  Surprised, he took me aside (to his office, which was fun, since he had never used it before) and talked me through what I’d been doing in my writing.  Impressed, he told me, “Here’s what you’re going to do next.  You’re going to go to the Nebula Awards, Worldcon, and World Fantasy convention next year.  Find the money somehow.  You’re going to meet editors and start submitting to them.” – Sanderson on Wolverton

    A good person. ↩︎